September 3, 2009

Vaccines for Children

Host Marcia Franklin and her guests discuss the statewide Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which subsidizes childhood immunizations.

Last legislative session, Idaho lawmakers and Governor Butch Otter cut the budget for the VFC program by nearly $3 million, requiring those with insurance to pay for their shots. The uninsured, those on Medicaid, Native Americans, and those whose insurance doesn't cover vaccinations would still be covered.

An outcry from parents and physicians resulted in the legislative Health Care Task Force asking Otter and the Department of Health and Welfare to find funds to continue the program. That will occur until December 31, 2009. Franklin and her guests discuss funding options for the future.

Guests include:

Idaho is one of only 15 states in the country to provide full or partial vaccine coverage, but still has the lowest overall child immunization rate in the country, at 60.4% percent. The national average is 76.1 percent.